Drake Bell Says He Came Forward As Victim Of Sexual Abuse Because Of His Son

Drake Bell appears at the world premiere of
Drake Bell appears at the world premiere of "The Spy Who Dumped Me" in Los Angeles on July 25, 2018. Jordan Strauss via Associated Press

Drake Bell teared up during Monday’s episode of the “Today” show as he explained why he spoke out about the sexual abuse he says he faced during his time on Nickelodeon.

Bell said on “Today” that he decided to appear in the 2024 Investigation Discovery documentary “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” because things were “spiraling out of control” for him “personally and mentally.”

He said he thought that “maybe this could help in the healing process, and also help others who have gone through the same situations or similar situations.”

In the documentary, Bell alleged that Brian Peck, a dialogue coach, sexually abused him when he was a teen actor on Nickelodeon. Peck was arrested in 2003 for lewd conduct with a minor. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 16 months in prison. “Quiet on Set” marked the first time Bell came forward to say he was the minor at the center of the case.

“What I’ve learned is that you’re not alone,” Bell said on “Today.” “That’s something I lived with for a very long time, was thinking that I was alone in this. And now I get to see all of that in a clear picture, and I get to go back and talk to that little boy.”

He said that if he were able to talk to his younger self, he would hold him and tell him: “It’s going to be OK. You’re going to find strength.”

Representatives for Nickelodeon told “Today” that the network has implemented a number of safeguards to protect children. NBC News correspondent Kate Snow said on “Today” that the program reached out to “the 2003 attorney” for Peck but did not receive a reply.

In 2021, Bell himself was charged with attempted endangerment of a child. He pleaded guilty and said he’d sent a 15-year-old fan “some messages that shouldn’t have been exchanged.” The teenage fan said Bell sexually assaulted her.

Bell said that in the years after Peck allegedly abused him, he battled substance misuse.

“You’re so frightened of facing this stuff that you try to cloud it with as much as you can,” he said on “Today.”

The actor also said that his own 3-year-old son was one of the reasons he came forward.

“As he grows, my hope is that he’ll be able to say, ‘Yeah, my dad did go through that. And the man that I know today is a hero to me,’” Bell said.

Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.